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Burnt: Poetry by Darlington Chukwunyere

-for Kechi Okwuchi, the miracle Sosoliso air crash survivor.

Burnt desires, burnt dreams.
Yes, she once had a dream,
Someday she’d catwalk down a golden carpet,
Pose to colourful paparazzo,
Sign beautiful autographs,
and join the league of super models.
Straight legs, killer curves, nice hips, sexy lips.
She’s got them all.
Oh yeah, she’s got the moves too.
It was a big future, a big dream,
Every girl’s dream.
But then came the agony of reality’s irony
No one knows tomorrow.
The one thing that defiles humanity.
Else, she would’ve missed that flight.
The threshold of her fateful plight.
Some say life in Africa is like living next door to hell.
But her case was different.
She was aloft, cruising the smiling clouds.
just few steps below heaven’s gate.
she looks through the window,
her jaw drops.
few inches away from the floating aircraft,
she beholds a flamboyant panorama of crystal spirals of clouds,
juxtaposed like a mixture of immaculate white wools
and pure turquoises of blue corals, and cheerful light.
she can smell the glistening clouds from the window,
some part of her feels like jumping off the plane,
for a feel, and a real taste if possible,
of the alluring clouds.
the sight transports her into heaven,
nothing else matters to her at this point…
nothing else,
except the sudden wobbly voice of the local pilot.
beneath the voice,
the pilot shudders like a rusted clockwork.
“ladies and gentlemen,
please say your last prayers.”
her little party is over.
the pilot is not a comedian.
the old man sitting next to her begins his last prayers
the woman sitting opposite is already casting and binding many demons.
the bearded long-man behind her is praying too
the plane begins to stall.
losing altitude upon altitude.
hope becomes deaf to all prayers.
death creeps closer
despair woos her to slumber
and fear grips her eye lids to nothingness.
Then she wakes in a hospital.
Wrapped like an Egyptian mummy.
Burnt beyond recognition.
Everything once colourful
burnt, forgotten, faded with the crash.
And so it happened.
Everything got burnt.
Everything colourful.
Everything wonderful.
Everything faded with crash smokes.
Faraway to gloomy clouds.
But one thing was left behind
Her true beauty.
Invaluable pulchritude of talent, passion and strong will.
Mine with her, was love at first sight
as she stood before the judges
An American idol
I crowned her my very own idol
I love her, neither for her sonority nor for empathy.
But for true appreciation of Aphrodite.
She may be burnt, defaced, and redecorated.
She remains a symbol of true beauty.
An icon of passion, talents, and cherished dreams.
She remains intact, raging, and pacing for her destination.
If she can, thus this far,
what then is my excuse?
Poetry: Darlington Chukwunyere
Image: remixed

Darlington Chukwunyere
Darlington Chukwunyere
Nigerian born Darlington Chukwunyere is a thespian of Unizik Theatre, a screenwriter, a poet, and a self-published author. He co-wrote Gold Dust Ikenga which was premiered in London in 2017 by Silver Achugamonye’s UK-based Silver-Globe Sines. His voice has been heard on Kalahari Review, Klintji magazine, the Voices Project, and elsewhere.


  1. As I watched her perform on the glorious stage of American Idol, I too named her my own idol. And like you, I did this not because of sonority or empathy. Thanks for sharing. May this message give to them who have lost their game for one setback or another a reason to push on.

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